As my pastoral responsibilities have and are continuing to increase, as I try to finish the semester in the ThM program, as I try to preach most weeks, I wonder on the cusp of having our second child; how will I ever get everything done? I remember feeling the same way last semester. I had to finish two significant final papers with my arm in a sling a week after shoulder surgery. That was no picnic but I finished. I’m sure I will this time too.
I love school. I love reading. I love learning. But this semester in the ThM program has been tedious. I’ve never wanted to gouge my eyeballs out more as I’ve read or sat in class. Part of that is because Bonhoeffer’s Ethics are almost incomprehensible. Part of it is that as I’m sitting in class at night (another mistake) I can think of about a dozen other things I’d rather be doing: hanging out with my kid, spending time with my wife, grabbing a beer with someone from Evergreen, having a couple over to dinner, etc. With so much competing for my attention, sitting in class has felt like torture.
These last two semesters have been experimental. I’ve been seeking to discern whether further academics are in my future. Right now I’m feeling like the answer to that is “no”. Over the past two terms I’ve realized that above everything else, I’m a pastor. I love to preach, I love to meet with people and talk about life and Jesus, I love the church. I still cannot imagine doing anything else.
All that to say, I’m going to take the summer off, catch my breath and then make a decision whether to continue or not. But first, I must survive these next two months. God be with me!